New Haven

Going for the Gold: 20 Ice Skating Rinks for Future Connecticut Olympians

Okay, it may have been more than forty years ago, but the 1976 Olympics looms large in my childhood memories: in fact, I was so enthralled by Dorothy Hamill that I rocked her signature haircut well into my tween years (in hindsight, that was perhaps a few years too long). When the 2018 Winter Olympics open in Pyeongchang later this week, I don't know if my kids will be so enthralled that they'll be demanding Bradie Tennell or Adam Rippon haircuts, but a parent can dream!

Should you find your child enjoying some Olympic dreams of his/her own, there is an abundance of learn-to-skate programs offering everything from figure skating to ice dancing and even ice theater--with some offering February vacation week camps. For even more recommendations for winter fun when you're not watching the games, check out our CT Winter Fun Guide and subscribe to our weekly newsletters and follow us on FacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. Have a great week!

Snakes, Owls, and a Really Awesome Playground: The Ansonia Nature Center

Spanning nearly 150 acres of wooded hills and grassy fields, the Ansonia Nature Center was once home to a small family-owned dairy farm tucked in New Haven County. Today, the hidden treasure off Milan Road in Ansonia is laced with two and a half miles of nature trails zig-zagging through streams, meadowlands, and a two acre pond serving as a haven for turtles, water fowl, and fish.

25 Things to do in Waterbury: The Brass City

Known as the "Brass City," Waterbury is the 9th largest city in New England. For families, the greater Waterbury-area is packed with things for kids to do. Whether you have a little conductor, bowler, ice cream lover or daredevil, there is something for everyone. But no matter what you come to Waterbury for, make sure you stop by Sultans Turkish Restaurant for some amazing food afterwards.

20 Ways to Celebrate Maple Sugaring Season in Connecticut

In February, hundreds of sugar houses all across the state get to work on the process of collecting and evaporating clear watery sap into golden syrup. The traditional maple sugaring season extends from early February until late March, though that depends greatly on the weather (which has varied considerably over the last few years). Freezing nights and warm, sunny days are necessary to provide good sap yields. Did you know that it takes 40 parts maple sap to make 1 part maple syrup (10 gallons sap to make 1 quart syrup)? That's why the good stuff ain't cheap!

If you want to get in on the action yourself, there are open housesdemonstrations and festivals celebrating this sweet treat happening the next few weekends in LitchfieldHartford, Fairfield, and New Haven counties. Some sugar houses invite you to stop in anytime the evaporator is running (but call before heading out).

Look for more winter fun outings in our Winter Fun Activities Guide and our frequently updated Events Calendar, as well as our newsletters, FacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. Have a fabulous week!

Things to Do on New Year's Day in Connecticut

Sure, you had amazing plans watching the clock strike twelve, but if your kids are anything like mine -- they will still be up at the crack of dawn on New Year's Day looking for something to do. Whether you choose to bundle up and head outdoors or leave the coats at home and check out an indoor activity, there is tons to do in every corner of the state. Spend a nice day with your family skating by the Sound, or take in the IMAX at the Maritime Aquarium. From First Day Hikes to the Science Center, there is something on this list to make sure everyone starts the New Year off right. 

Silver Lights Festival Adds Sparkle to the Season

Once upon a time, in a land far, far away, gorillas swung from trees, playful penguins surrounded an igloo, and a seal put on a rooftop show. Technically, the time is now, the land is the not-so-distant city of Meriden, and the adorable creatures are more than 300 characters featured during the Festival of Lights. This annual and very family-friendly holiday lights event in the New Haven area is not to be missed due to its charm, great photo opportunities, and affordable price tag (umm, it's free!). 

Connecticut's Christmas Light Dispays

There is something magical about a holiday light display. Generation after generation have made a ritual of going to see the displays each season. I have so many fun memories of bundling up in the backseat and driving around town searching for the best Christmas lights in town. New Haven has its Fantasy of Lights, Fairfield has several houses that make the holidays special, and Hartford has a huge list of special places to visit.

The Top 10 Things to do with Preschoolers this Holiday Season

From Pinterest-perfect teacher presents to waiting online for those coveted tickets, the Christmas season can be, well, stressful. There's the Christmas parties, the Christmas cards, and then the presents. And the shopping for the presents. We all seriously need a vacation by 5 p.m. on December 25th. But, when you see those little faces light up when they see the guy in red or when they come across an actual living, breathing reindeer, or when they hear that whistle blow. Every second is worth it. We've rounded up the top 10 things to do with your preschooler during the holidays. So get out there and embrace the magic of the season and make yourself some memories to last a lifetime. Be sure to check out our CT Holiday Guide for even more holiday fun. 

Frightfully Fun Flashlight Corn Mazes to Check Out

If you have never been inside a corn maze, imagine entering a twisting, winding dirt-paved series of paths cutting through a giant field of corn stalks. Should you go left, right, or straight ahead? Remember, only the right decision will get you out of the maze. Now, try navigating through the maze at night time amid sounds of rustling cornstalks and shadows along the path. Spooky, right? Check out our roundup of flashlight corn mazes throughout the state for some spooktacular fun. And, for more autumnal adventures, check out our Fall and Halloween guides. 

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